At Westerly Library & Wilcox Park: Cookbooks That Will Excite Your Eyes | Guest columns


One of my favorite times of the week is when the new cookbooks arrive at the library. I’m like a little kid with a brand new picture book, flipping through the pages and taking breathtaking photos. Never mind that most of the time my cooking prowess isn’t limited to making PB&J sandwiches, I just love watching what other people are making!

If you’re like me and love the visual aspects of cookbooks, there are some great new titles in the collection. One of the most eye-catching is Rick Martinez’s “Mi Cocina,” a brilliant and brilliant celebration of Mexican cuisine; according to reviewers, the recipes are just as stunning as the pictures. Another winner is “Platters and Boards” by Shelly Westerhausen, in which the author showcases examples of gorgeous dishes and spreads for all occasions. Bridal shower? To verify. Housewarming gift? To verify. Appointment at the dentist? There’s probably a board for that! My current obsession, however, is “Adam Young’s Sift Cookbook,” written by the chef and owner of Sift in Mystic and Watch Hill. I may not have the ambition to make her blueberry scones from scratch, but I love watching them.

If you’re not a rocket scientist, but still want to prepare tasty meals at home, there are plenty of books for you. Ali Slagle’s “I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To)” will help you plan deliciously simple meals with what you have on hand, rather than having to buy a ton of ingredients. In “Cooking at Home, or, How I Learned to Stop Worry About Recipes (and Love My Microwave),” world-renowned chef David Chang and author Priya Krishna offer cooking tips and shortcuts that will make your life a whole lot easier. without sacrificing taste. When all else fails, eggs make for a quick and easy meal! If you’re tired of scrambled or fried versions, Lisa Steele’s “The Fresh Eggs Daily Cooking” includes more than 100 recipes for new and unexpected ways to use this stockpile ingredient.

Don’t forget, Memorial Day is fast approaching! If you fire up the grill, Matt Horn’s “Horn Barbecue” or “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ” will help you cook your meat to perfection, while providing plenty of mouth-watering side and dessert ideas. Add “VBQ: The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook” to your list, and you’re sure to have something for everyone!

Most requested books

  • 1. “The City on Fire” by Don Winslow
  • 2. Lucy Foley’s “Paris Apartment”
  • 3. “Dream City” by David Baldacci
  • 4. “What Happened to the Bennetts” by Lisa Scottoline
  • 5. “The Nantucket Hotel” by Elin Hilderbrand
  • 6. “It’s Ending With Us” by Colleen Hoover
  • 7. “22 Seconds” by James Patterson
  • 8. “Find Me” by Viola Davis
  • 9. “The Match” by Harlan Coben
  • 10. “Run Rose Run” by James Patterson

Most requested DVDs

  • 1. “Uncharted”
  • 2. “Licorice Pizza”
  • 3. “Dog
  • 4. “The Beatles: Come Back”
  • 5. “The Batman”
  • 6. “Belfast”
  • 7. “Spider-Man: No Coming Home”
  • 8. “Yellowstone Season 4”
  • 9. “Sanditon Season 2”
  • 10. “The King’s Daughter”

This week

MONDAY — 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Crafternoon To-Go | Clothespin Magnets – This month we’re making flower design magnets out of clothespins. Pick up your kit in Reference while supplies last; 4-4:45 pm, Couch to 5k Run Club – This is the seventh week of our Run Club. We meet at the fountain in Wilcox Park for our group run; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Monday Movie Night – Join us in the Auditorium for a movie screening once a month! This month we show a mystery film from 2022 directed by Kenneth Branagh.

TUESDAY — 10am-10.30am, family story time – Join us in the terrace room for a family story time, geared towards the birth of children up to 11 years old when accompanied by a carer; 1:00-4:00 p.m., Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available via email at to help connect you with local services/resources; 1-2pm, Afternoon Book Discussion – This month’s selection is “Her Hidden Genius” by Marie Benedict. This is a hybrid program, meeting in the Library Auditorium and on Zoom. Email for details; 2-3:30 p.m., Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom every Tuesday to answer your technical questions. Prior registration is required; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knitting and Crocheting Club – The Knitting and Crocheting group meets on the 2nd floor of the library.

WEDNESDAY — 2-3:30 p.m., Virtual Film Club – We’ll be discussing three films we picked up last month and picking three to watch for our June meeting. Contact Hannah at for meeting details; 6-7pm, Virtual Cookbook Club: Dine and Discuss – We’ll cook and (virtually) share recipes from “Baking with Dorie” by Dorie Greenspan and “The Savory Baker” from America’s Test Kitchen. Please only check one or the other. Contact to register.

THURSDAY — 4-4:30 pm, Teen De-Stress Day with Chelsea Hauck – It’s almost time for the finals! Teens in grades 7-12 are invited to join us across the pond in Wilcox Park to learn stretching and breathing techniques to reset our nervous systems. Registration is mandatory; 5:30-6:30 p.m., Zumba in the Park and Library – Enjoy a free Zumba class with Yvonne Brown and Tina Pagliusi; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – Players of all skill levels are welcome.

SATURDAY — 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Digital Literacy Classes – Enroll in 8 weeks of free computer classes with Spanish language support, presented by the Providence Public Library and Office of Library and Information Services of the RI. Limited places available, so registration is required; 10:30am-11:30am, Zumba in the Park and Library – Enjoy a free Zumba class with Yvonne Brown and Tina Pagliusi.

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at Westerly Library & Wilcox Park.


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